As of January 2009, twenty municipalities have “lassoed the sun” in the Alberta Solar Showcase, installing between 1 and 2 kW of grid-connected solar PV on public buildings. The project is officially concluded at the end of March 2009, but we have produced enough tools that any municipality that's interested can replicate the process and install their own solar PV system!
The project is teaching everyone involved a lot about grid-connecting renewable energy systems. This includes both the process for tendering and installing the projects as well as the process for obtaining the necessary permits and approvals from the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and their respective electricity suppliers (Wire Owners) such as Fortis, ATCO, EnMax, Epcor and other local companies.
All municipal installations are using a detailed set of specifications we’ve developed to ensure high-quality and professionally-installed systems. We've now made a more generic version of these specifications so they can be used by anyone in Alberta (or Canada for that matter) who wants to tender a similar, or larger solar PV project. (These are available under the RESOURCES tab.)
To learn more about each municipal project and to take a real-time look at how each system is collecting solar energy and converting it to electricity, check the project map on this website; click on the small Alberta map on the main page. For details about PV, look under the “What is Solar PV?” tab, also on the main page. For more information, watch the C3l websites for a new section called Solar FAQ's.